Gazzada (Varese)

Maroni says Berlusconi should bring down Letta

Ex-premier 'being treated like Craxi',Northern League boss says

Maroni says Berlusconi should bring down Letta

Gazzada (Varese), September 3 - Convicted ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi is being treated like late Socialist leader Bettino Craxi, the most prominent victim of the early 1990s Bribesville scandals, Northern League boss Roberto Maroni said Tuesday, urging him to pull the plug on Italy's left-right government. "I have heard from Berlusconi and I feel very worried," Maroni said outside a conference. "I hope that he removes support for the government," led by Premier Enrico Letta and his centre-left Democratic Party. "Though a decision is up to him, of course," he added. Maroni, secretary of the anti-immigration League which was long the key government partner of Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL), accused the PD of treating Berlusconi like his old friend Craxi by vowing to vote to strip him of his Senate seat. The Senate is expected to vote in late October or early November on whether to eject Berlusconi from his seat because of the three-time premier's August 1 four-year tax-fraud conviction. Craxi, who protected Berlusconi's media empire from anti-trust rules and was a godfather to one of the mogul's children, long claimed he was hounded by the judiciary, just as Berlusconi has. Craxi, Italy's first Socialist premier for four years in the mid-1980s, died in self-imposed exile at his Tunisian villa in 2000, having fled an arrest warrant.

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